Social media may be a great way to connect with other professionals and communicate with your friends, but it can be dangerous if you have poor posting habits. Before you share something, think twice about whether it contains any sensitive information that could be risky to yourself and your business.We’ve put together a list of easy ways that you can mitigate the risks associated with oversharing your personal information on the Internet:
- Mind what you post: You need to understand that there is some information that’s not supposed to be shared on the Internet. A fairly obvious example of this is personal information like Social Security numbers; if someone shared their Social Security number online, and a fraudster got ahold of it, they could easily steal the identity and perform who knows what with it. Other information that shouldn’t be shared includes birthdays, home addresses, phone numbers, and so on. Even something as simple as your dog’s name could be used to crack a potential security question for an online banking account. Basically, you should keep your personal life off the Internet; otherwise, you’re inviting disaster.
- Side note: You may trust your privacy settings and your contacts, but you should still be conservative about posting your agenda and your physical address online. Never announce when your home will be empty on social media. Doing so could lead to uninvited guests while you’re vacationing in Tahiti.
- Limit your employment details: Sites like LinkedIn can help you work on your professional networking, but they also provide identity thieves with a treasure trove of personal information. Unless you’re actively seeking employment, it’s a good idea to include only information that’s absolutely necessary. It should be just enough to get people to view your profile, and information on how they can get in touch with you. Take advantage of privacy settings to maximize your personal security.
- Perform an online audit: The Internet is a huge place. Your information could be, quite literally, in a thousand different locations. Friends and contacts of yours could post information about where you are and what you’re doing. Plus, information could exist outside the realm of your social media accounts, lingering in online databases, waiting to be picked up by hackers or other thieves.
- Perform a social media audit: This is often called a “friend purge,” where you go through your social media contacts and remove those whom you have fallen out of contact with, or those who you simply don’t know. Ask yourself if you would let your social media contacts into your home, or share intimate details about your life with them. Chances are that the majority of them don’t need access to your full account and information.
Social media can be a great way to connect with people, but you need to take your personal security into your own hands. If you don’t, who will? For more information about how to stay safe online, keep tabs on our blog; or, call Setton Consulting at 212-796-6061.